Established 1980

Copyright©  Mayflower Choral Society 2014

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Last modified 6/18/17

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We wish to share our passion of music whether as singer, student, musician or listener


Hair--from Hair:

Hair is the title song to the 1968 theatrical performance, Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.  James Rado and Gerome Ragni began writing Hair in late 1964 and the play debuted in October of 1967 off Broadway at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York.  The musical's strong commentary on a wide variety of social issues such as war, racism, sexual repression, environmental destruction, and corruption in politics was very controversial at the time, as was its profanity, nudity, and depiction of drug use.  Ultimately though, its alternative message of peace, love, freedom, and respect for nature won over critics and it received overwhelmingly positive reviews.


Rado and Ragni, who met while working on the anti-capital-punishment musical, Hang Down Your Head and Die, penned all of the lyrics to the songs and producer Nat Shapiro brought in composer Galt MacDermot to write and arrange the music.  MacDermot had studied music of the Bantu tribe at Cape Town University and decided to incorporate African rhythms called quaylas into the score of Hair.  “Quaylas stress beats on unexpected syllables”, he once said,”very similar to rock”.


The show opened on Broadway on 29 April 1968, and ran for 1,750 performances, one of the longest runs in history at that time.  Inspired by the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, Hair soon became linked with the anti-Vietnam War peace movement as well.  Among the artists who had hits with songs from the musical include The 5th Dimension, The Staples Singers, Three Dog Night, Oliver, Liza Minelli, Nelson Riddle, Quincy Jones, Madeline Bell, Paul Jones, Sonja KristinaCaterina Valente, Barbra Streisand, and even MacDermot himself.  


The song Hair was also a successful single for The Cowsills that same year. Their version spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It also reached No. 1 on the RPM Canadian Singles Chart.  On a side note, The Cowsills were a band made up entirely of family members and were the inspiration behind the early 1970s TV show, The Partridge Family.

 

The first recording of Hair was made in 1967 featuring the off-Broadway cast.  However, it was the original Broadway cast recording which really took off.  Featuring 30 songs, it received a Grammy Award in 1969 for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album .  By the end of the year, it had sold nearly 3 million copies in the U.S. alone.  It went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the last Broadway cast album to do so, and stayed there for 13 weeks.


19Hair (2).mp3

Hair